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Cracking the Ice [Strength Specialization/Training]

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Altair Loros

Altair Loros
Altair took a few days to mourn with the others for Dantete. But on the fifth day, he decided it was time to start his training. He warmed up with the basics. 100 one handed push-ups on each hand, 100 sit-ups, 100 crunches, and 100 pull-ups. Now thoroughly soaked with sweat, he decided to wash, change clothes, and go for a run. He ran the perimeter of the village ten times, and then an additional ten times backwards. The cold began to seep into his clothes as he sweat, and after he finished he realized, "I'm going to die of frostbite if i keep doing this. I'll have to find some other way to train." Altair thought while he finished his run about who he could go to for help for appropriate training. His first thought was of Dantete. Altair stumbled, and stopped. Dantete. Altair respected him for what he was, a strong man and a great father. But now wasn't the time to dwell on the past. He had a job to do. Altair resumed his run. What about Himejojo? While he had never personally seen the man workout, it took strength to brew your own alcohol in large amounts. And even for an Imuchakk, he was strong. He remembered when they all went snow shoveling together. Himejojo had led the pack, and Altair had to resort to using Magoi Manipulation in order to keep up at all. Perhaps he would be able to help him. It was decided. Altair would ask Himejojo.

He finished his run, and entered the bar. He was sweating profusely, but he could feel the chill creeping up his bones. Altair went upstairs quickly, washed in a hot bath, and changed his clothes once again. coming back downstairs, he saw Himejojo in the back working on his brew. He had never been allowed back there, and while it was tempting to see what he was doing, Altair knew better than to sneak a peek on a secret recipe. So instead he called back to him. "Himejojo! Once you are finished i would like to talk to you!" There was a crash, a yelp, and an "I'm OK!" from the back. A few minutes later, Himejojo came to the front biting into a lemon, skin and all. "I've been trying a new recipe for when summer comes around. It's using sweet lemons that are in season now, but if i let them ferment over a season they'll deliver a more robust flavor. If you're still around then, i'd love you to try it." Altair smiled. "I'm always happy to be your guinea pig for thees kinds of things. But there's another matter i'd like to ask you about. I'm noticing that my usual training regimen is, well, impossible in this weather. I'd sooner freeze to death before i got any stronger. So i was wondering, what do your people do when they wish to train?" Himejojo simply laughed. "Well my friend, we are just more used to the cold then you are. Our bodies give us a measure of resistance to the freezing temperatures that would kill a man like you in minutes without proper protection. But i see your dilemma. You need a way to train without exposing yourself to frostbite." Himejojo thought about it for a minute, swirling a mug of cider as he did so. He looked Altair over a few times, and then finally snapped his fingers. "I've got it! You're a Magoi Manipulator aren't you? Well, strange as it may seem, so am i. I think i've got the perfect training regimen for you. Just give me a minute to get ready and we can head out. Oh, and you should put on another coat. It's going to be very cold where we are going." Altair nodded. He went off to his room, grabbed an extra jacket and another undershirt for good measure, and met Himejojo at door a minute later.

The pair walked for what must have been twenty or more miles into the snow, until they came upon a cliff face that overlooked an icy valley. Altair stared in wonder at the spectacle. The ice was a perfect cobalt blue, with cracks running through it that in places were over 100 feet deep and more than ten feet wide. Himejojo smiled and looked at Altair. "This is where myself and a few other members of the tribe come to train. The ice is cold, even for us, and is harder than tempered steel. Come with me, and i'll show you what to do." He walked down a path to the ice, and Altair followed. Himejojo put his hand out to stop him as they reached the threshold. "From this point on, you will have to be either constantly moving, or giving a steady stream of magoi to your feet and boots. I warn you, if you feel like you can't continue, get off the ice. If you don't, you will be stuck there. Objects freeze instantly to this ice, and i'd rather not have my friend become one of the other statues out here." Altair hadn't noticed it before, but looking out onto the ice, he saw various forms, frozen in time to the ice. Most were small animals, arctic hares and the wolves that chased them. But, there were some that were not as pretty to look at. There were, at least, seven Imuchakk men frozen to the ice, faces contorted in fear and agony. This was truly a dangerous place. Himejojo continued, "We will start simple. step onto the ice, and hold Magoi in your feet for as long as you can. The moment you feel yourself waning, step off the ice and back here. You'll recover, and then do it again. We will repeat this for as long as you are able. I'm warning you now Altair, do not push yourself just yet. First we build up endurance. Then comes the strength."

Altair nodded, put Magoi into his feet, and stepped onto the ice. Almost immediately he felt his energy wane, and in a panic he jumped back to the snow. "What was that?!" He gasped, suddenly feeling like all the energy was gone from his body. Himejojo looked solemnly at the statues. "This ice is so cold, it saps energy from any living thing that touches it. We are here to build up your Magoi levels to a point high enough to withstand standing on this ice for several hours. At the same time, you will learn to temper your Magoi to just the right amount to keep yourself from getting stuck. This will teach you control, while giving you a much greater pool of Magoi to draw from. Now, start again. This time use your full force to hold you there." Altair picked himself up, and nodded. This time, he put all of his energy into the soles of his feet and boots. He stepped onto the ice. Immediately he felt the ice draw from his body the Magoi, but this time there was no danger of him getting stuck. Altair just stood there. Himejojo entertained Altair by telling him stories about when he was a boy, so as to keep his mind off his task. Altair's focus never wavered however, and he was able to stand there for almost an hour before stepping off. He collapsed onto the snow, his breathing heavy and labored. Himejojo gave him some hot cider. It was rejuvenating, but Altair would need to rest for a while before attempting it again. It took Altair several days before he was able to stand on the ice for as long as he wanted. Once he hit the twelve hour mark, Himejojo stopped him. "Good. Now we can get to work on your strength training. But for today, we rest. We'll come back tomorrow."

When they returned to the ice the following day, Himejojo came out onto the ice with him. The man was steady as a rock, and didn't even flinch as he stepped onto the ice. "Today, we will train you to do this." Himejojo told Altair to stay where he was, and stepped forward a few meters. Himejojo brought his fist up, and then down as hard as he could onto the ice. but nothing happened. "That is how strong this ice is. Without magoi Manipulation, i would never be able to even dent it. But with Magoi..." He punched the ground again as hard as he could, this time wrapping Magoi around his fist. This time however, an incredible crack was heard, as loud as an explosion, and a twenty meter deep crack appeared in the ice. Himejojo stood up. "What i've just done is directed my force and Magoi straight down. When you start, you will end up cracking only the surface. You must train so that you can project your energy down as deep as you can. When you can match me, you'll be at least twice as strong as you were before. And just for fun, let's see if you can match Asisiak's. Her crack is over there." Himejojo pointed to an incredible crack that must have run 50 meters deep, and was straight like a laser, with no jagged edges. That would be hard to beat. Altair took a stance, and wrapping his fist in Magoi, slammed it down onto the ice as hard as he could, emulating his Slay the Dragon technique. For his first time, he did pretty damn well. His crack was rather jagged, but it still reached almost straight down ten meters. Himejojo whistled. "Well i'll be a... Altair, you got talent. Move a bit and keep trying. I'll be over here if you need rescuing all of a sudden." he chuckled.

Altair spent the greater part of an hour slowly increasing the depth and straightness of his crack in the ice. His progress was really rather astounding. He would take a break on occasion to rest up before heading back out onto the ice. After five days of doing this, his ice crack was so deep that it had well surpassed Himejojo's, and was bordering on Asisiak's. But, no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't get that extra meter he needed to beat her. "This must be just the difference between Humans and Imuchakk. You are naturally stronger, and it shows." Himejojo came over and pat Altair on the back. "No my friend. That is the difference in experience between the two of you. I'm sure with a few more months of training you could surpass her. But then again, that crack is from years ago. Who knows what she could pull off now?"

Himejojo took Altair to a large tree in the woods to show him how much he had improved in strength. Himejojo had him punch the tree normally at first. Altair took a swing. He hit the tree so hard that the wood cracked a good meter into it. Moving to the other side, Himejojo told Altair to punch the tree again, this time with Magoi Manipulation. Altair obliged, hitting the tree with all his might, Magoi wrapped around his fist. Altair took a step back, stunned. He had not only put a hole all the way through the tree, but had cracked the tree only a few feet beyond it. Altair laughed. He had done it! This new way of training may have been brutal, and tiring, but the results were incomparable to normal means. Altair walked back into town with Himejojo. They reached the bar, and Altair took a seat. "I really can't thank you enough for this Himejojo. Without your help, i'd still be running around the village like an idiot, sweating and getting frostbite." Himejojo smiled, and handed Altair a nice, warm glass of his favorite cider. Altair took it and downed it in one go. Step one, complete.

Name: Slay the Dragon
Tier: A
Cost: 40 Stamina
Weapon Type: Sword, Magoi Manipulation
Class: Offensive
Range: Melee
Duration: Instantaneous
Cool-Down: 14 Posts
Description: a Magoi Manipulation technique that aims to utterly crush or remove the head of the opponent. The sword moves at 25m/s, and deals A tier Damage in a single mighty blow.



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